leaving beloved amboina past few decades, finally i am able to make my home coming. flabbergasted that i missed so many things as the years goes by. i used to live in secluded-tranquil-leafy bay overlooking the hills and this moment i have to “jump” on honking roads, blaring and blasting motorbikes and cars in the city centre.
i never denied how do i miss this tiny capital city of moluccas islands but sometimes i think it’s too far away to be visited from jakarta or london where i spend most of my time.
this ambon home coming just happened as i start a project with a dearly friend, marvy, to make travel articles here. well, lots of childhood memories make our work sounds a pilgrimage. the boost energy also coming from him, who never tired to brings my memory back about the city of amboina.
my thoughts: the atmosphere of her heydays still remains. but in contrary … there’s a scar that may difficult to be forgotten.
dating back centuries ago, ambon used to be a strongest point for the portuguese, occupied by the britons instead of the dutch. this lovely tiny city had a very important role for these conquerors. and now, after the series of instabilities I just can whispering her to stay strong and lovely. as I shared my life with her, as many people that I like very much are living in there. It will be great if everybody in there can live in harmony. In a city that I love so dearly and proudly stated: one of my hometown.
my most favourite destinations in this 2012 ambon visit:
* ambon war cemetery, kapaha, tantui
surrounded by leafy garden, provides dawn service in annual Australian Day and ANZAC day. it’s a real peaceful land. i’d ever been visited the allied forces cemetery in singapore, yangon and jakarta with nick. what i’d got from this place is the same serene atmosphere. thanks to the chief of cemetery, mr syamsuddin ohayouf who accompany me and mr ken young, a senior traveller from new zealand, a historical enthusiasm including the series of cemeteries from world war first and second. love to hear his latest visit to the gallipoli peninsula–something that nick and I love to discuss.
* exploring the churches around city centre
as a city with its glorious past, ambon also designated as the central of christian mission in the eastern archipelago of indonesia. old churches still can be found around the city centre. my choice goes to maranatha church–where I attended the service–and josef kam church–for marvy. both of them are stunning with wonderful setting.
but something I had missed when I visited Josef kam’s. when I was a kid, there was an old churchyard and today it’s turn into bleakly building. fortunately, the tombstone of josef kam, the missionary who addressed respectfully as “rasul maluku” still remain in the tiny garden.
my most funny experience during this 2012 ambon visit:
– staying in a hotel with the hay wain in my room.
well, nothing wrong with the place, i mean if you just need quality sleeping and spend the rest of your day to go out from its room. my experience, when I wait for my childhood friends at the lobby, I’d got surrounded by sea of smoke. as a heavy non-smoker, i could not stand more than five minutes in there and of course, that’s not the staff’s fault. blame to the guests who smokes in the tiny-windowless-functional room!
apart of this situation, i found something hilarious in my executive double bed room. i found copy of the hay wain (john constable’s) as a wall decoration. how can be this hotel knows that i am indeed always in love the hay wain? it’s just like a little surprise for me, and when I tell nick on the phone, his comments just, “oh dear, oh dear, oh dear!”
above at all … i feel so grateful that i can make this amboina home coming. i am so happy when i realize i still can “speak the tongue”–an expression that i do really can talk as locals do–just like when i was a kid, as my second language after my mother tongue and english. and in contrary, I speak in my mother tongue with marvy and both of us feel so funny when we try to speak in creole ambonese.
and my journey in ambon come to an end. I remember some lyrics of an ambonese folksong: sio ambon, dengan teluk nan indah permai, apa tempo beta lihat engkau lagi ….
my mum used to humming this lyrics sometimes somehow after our family back to Java from stayed in years in the Mollucas. and it’s still repeated, up until her final resting day. and about my dad who passed away three years before my mum, I don’t know why both of us always talk in creole ambonese and bit English compared to stick with our mother tongue?
I remember very well, my dad loves to say “par beta” in my childhood time, to express what he likes to have shared with me. from my brown bread with butter, milk, sandwiches, noodles and newspaper. And I feel, this home coming to amboina is indeed “par beta“. Pour moi! For me. I love you Mum and Dad in heaven! This home coming also dedicated for you. Par ale. Deng bet jua!